When you commission a song for your new ad and it becomes a hit, you’ve cemented your status as the biggest brand in country music
Chevrolet is the most active automotive sponsor of music, though if you consider all the recent songs that name-check the brand, maybe it doesn’t need to be. There’s Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (“This brand new Chevy with a lift kit/Would look a hell lot better with you in it”), Jason Aldean’s “Take a Little Ride” (“Well I’m just ready to ride this Chevy down a little back road”) and even Rick Ross’ “Box Chevy” (“I started with the box Chevy then I got the blue Lexus”).
So by the time Chevrolet teamed with Warner/Chappell Music for a new campaign, designed to continue the legacy of the Silverado truck ads featuring Bob Seger’s “Like a Rock,” the automaker had more than earned its right to commission an original song. And proving its understanding of the market, “Strong,” from rising country singer Will Hoge, went on to become a hit on its own merits, peaking at No. 42 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in October.
“Whenever we’re creating a piece of communication, we always have to look at what we can do with music,” Peck says. “Will it help tell the story? Can the music help create the world? And can the music better connect with our consumer?” In 2013, that meant licensing four songs for an ad that debuted during last year’s Grammy Awards, enlisting John Legend to be the face and voice of its summer Impala campaign and continuing to be an aggressive sponsor at South by Southwest and the Country Music Assn. Awards.